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Spring 2014

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Five years ago this past March, the major market indices bottomed amidst the turmoil and malaise of a confidenceeroding financial crisis. Today, after more than doubling and routinely setting all-time highs, inquiring minds want to know what happens next. Who wouldn’t? It’s human nature to fixate on dates, anniversaries and new highs, and assume that breaching new ground means that we’re certain to reverse course and plummet to levels far below where we currently reside. Indeed, a key tenant of behavioral finance is that investors have a tendency to focus on the negatives and assume the worst.

There is frustration and intrigue derived from the constant challenge of anticipating the direction of capital markets. However, while we can easily describe, analyze and assess what has happened, it is all but impossible to predict what will happen—particularly looking out over shorter timeframes. Importantly, anyone who claims they know exactly where market levels will be in six months or a year should be viewed skeptically. However, by looking at the business cycle and valuations, we can form some reasonable assumptions regarding what the next several years might hold for both stocks and bonds. Suffice it to say, it is...

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